Alan Newell's Story

Author: Alan F Newell
Alan Newell's Story

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, such as those used by Professor Steven Hawking, assist non-speaking people to communicate. Alan Newell had already developed the “Talking Brooch” - an early example of this type of technology - when he undertook his Fellowship in 1976. Alan travelled to the US and Canada, touring universities and research institutions leading developments in the AAC field.

Alan's Fellowship substantially raised his profile, and he went on to form one of the world's largest groups of academics and experts developing ground-breaking computer technology for older and disabled people. The group has since developed systems for hearing impaired people (including the first to be used in the House of Commons). They also built systems for live television subtitling, for non-speaking people, and for those with dyslexia and dementia. In his book Design and the Digital Divide, Alan says

"I credit my Fellowship as a very important stepping stone on my professional path".

Amongst his many achievements, Alan is Professor Emeritus and Founder of the School of Computing at the University of Dundee. He was awarded an MBE in 2000 and recieved the CHI Social Impact Award in 2011